Shortcakes 12/18/16 – #santaklaws

No More Stuff, an amazing Christmas animated short from Blue Zoo.Shortcakes is our weekly feature on what’s trending in animated short films. We scour the Internet, from YouTube to Vimeo to parts unknown.

We mostly have professionally created content for you this week! Two branded films, one for Lyft and one for the London Opera. There’s also a kick-ass Christmas story, a music video, and a truly disturbing stop-motion film. It’s a little bit Doctor Strange, a little bit Nightmare Before Christmas, and a little bit soul-searing terror.

No More Stuff

Creator: Blue Zoo Animation
Country: UK

They say: Continuing the theme of parodies onwards from animated musicals, we made an epic action movie trailer full of movie parodies… can you spot all 20 references? Movie coming soon… if Santa brings us a few $million for Christmas!

We say: Seriously delivers! This is the sequel to Blue Zoo’s 2015 Christmas short “More Stuff”. Absolutely hilarious and chock-full of references from Die Hard to The Matrix. So good you’ll check it twice.

I Was Always Talking (Music Video)

Creator: Hotdog Sandwich, music by Sam Kogon (Feat. Frankie Cosmos)
Country: USA

They say: We rarely said ‘no’ to an idea.

We say: Our first music video to be featured! This one is also rife with references, this time to classic sci-fi. You’ll spot E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Starship Troopers, and even M. Night Shymalan’s Signs. The art blends hand-drawn characters with live-action backgrounds, and at times is reminiscent of classic MTV interstitials. Remember that astronaut?

The song is decent.

June: Life is Better When You Share the Ride

Creator: John Kahrs
Country: USA

They say: In an animated short film by Academy Award-winner John Kahrs, a lonely widow in historic South Chicago is inspired to start sharing the ride — and sharing her life, too. Featuring original song, “Movin,” written and performed by Lyft driver-turned-recording artist Sir the Baptist, who launched his music career after a connection with a Lyft passenger.

We say: Yes, it’s essentially a commercial for Lyft, but it’s also a genuinely engaging and even touching short animated film. The rotoscoped style is a perfect fit for the melancholy story of a widowed grandmother who finds new friendship through a new job.

Contortions

Creator: Judit Boor
Country: UK

They say: This film ends where Alban Berg’s opera Lulu begins. Told in hand drawn 2D animation, the story explores the grotesque love as it appears in the opera. As all characters obey the rules dictated by their nature, we bear witness to how a charming exterior can conceal venomous intentions, and are left with the question: Who is more dangerous, the snake, or the man?

The finished piece we made for the English National Opera, in response to their staging of Lulu this season.

We say: Sweet. It’s Fantasia for 20th century atonal opera. Creepy and awesome.

The Lighthouse

Creator: Trim Tab
Country: Netherlands

They say: A lighthouse keeper’s surprising discovery pulls him out of his monotonous, daily routine and takes him onto a journey into uncharted territory. Made up of over 14,000 photographs, The Lighthouse is a neo noir stop motion animation crafted by two hands over the course of 7 years.

We say: Lengthy at 11 minutes, the stop motion animation is unusually smooth. The entire short feels very solid and professional. It’s pretty amazing that such a small studio produced it. The storyline gets a bit weird, a little Lovecraftian, and even a little bit Michael Crichton’s Sphere. Recommended.

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